The Corner

Good Policy Not Always Good Law

I’m certainly willing to believe the claim Peggy Nance, et al. make in their NRO column that P2P file sharing networks facilitate the distribution of child pornography and other objectionable — indeed, in some cases truly evil — material. While this is interesting for policy purposes, I don’t believe it is particularly relevant to the merits of the MGM v. Grokster litigation. I certainly enjoy beating up on the Ninth Circuit as much as the next Cornerite, but the soundness of their opinion in the case needs to be judged on the merits of the legal claim, and not the practical outcome in other areas. If it turns out that otherwise legal P2P file sharing makes it too difficult to control child porn, then this is a matter for Congress and state legislatures, not the courts.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.